General Description

Body deep, compressed with a large head, a blunt snout, large fins with rounded lobes, and a deeply notched dorsal fin arising above the eyes; scales absent, skin covered in papillae giving a soft velvety appearance. Adults usually reddish-orange to brownish with paler mottling and marbling; juveniles have pale translucent skin and scattered bright reddish spots, lines and ocelli. Usually 25 cm long head to tail tip (up to 30 cm).


Red Velvetfish shelter on rocky reefs amongst kelp and macroalgae and are rarely seen by divers during the day. They venture out at night to prey on small fishes, shrimps and crabs. Like their scorpionfish relatives, they have venomous fin spines and should be handled with care.


Southern Australia.


Algal-covered rocky reef in shallow bays.

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